The perfect meat-free alternative to a fast food favourite; low carb, crispy baked cauli-wings. I’ve developed this recipe using only whole-food, plant-based ingredients. No overly processed meat alternatives or unnatural powders in sight. Just cauliflower, seeds, a few spices and a good drizzling of olive oil. A recipe so good even the carb lovers and meat eaters in your life will enjoy.
Low Carb Coating
I’ll be honest guys, this was a complete experiment! I wanted a coating that would be super crispy, vegan, and low carb so that everyone can enjoy.
Now I know what you’re thinking, sometimes these low carb and diet friendly swaps aren’t always all that similar to the real thing. If you’ve ever seen bell pepper sandwiches make the rounds on instagram you’ll know what I mean; still totally delicious, but not at all similar to bread. But that’s where these crispy cauli-wings differ; the low carb coating actually looks like breadcrumbs. It even nearly had me fooled!
Not only is the sesame and flax coating visually similar to breadcrumbs, but it crisps up an absolute treat. I am the self declared queen of crispy textures; I crisp up absolutely everything I eat, from sprouts to sweet corn – So if these crispy cauli-wings met my texture standards, they’re definitely good to go!
To keep this recipe 100% vegan friendly and nut free, I had to do some outside-the-box thinking on how to replace the egg that would typically be used to bind the coating to the cauli/chicken wing. Milk alternatives were out the window as most are made with or contain traces of nuts. Plus, I wan’t to ensure these baked cauli-wings came out of the oven perfectly crispy, so anything too wet had to be avoided.
Any vegan/egg free bakers out there will know that flax is a fantastic egg alternative. When combined with water, flax forms a gel that is very similar to the texture of egg – perfect for biding the crispy coating to the cauliflower florets.
To simplify things, I’ve developed this recipe so that one mixture does both things. Split the seed ‘breadcrumb’ mixture roughly in half, and add a few tbsp water to one half. Because of the flax, the mixture you’ve added water to will become thick and egg-like, so you can dip the cauliflower florets into the wet mix, then into the dry, and voila! perfectly coated cauli-wings, and not an egg in sight.
These crispy baked cauli-wings make for a great weeknight meal, or as a healthy weekend treat. They’re simple and easy to make, and loads of fun to get the kids involved if you fancy make a bit of a mess – no need to worry about any raw ingredients either.
I served mine alongside a homemade green slaw, but these crispy cauli-wings will go with almost anything. A garden salad, sweet potato fries, sauteed veggies… you name it! You might want a good dip on the side to dunk your caul-wings into. Why not try with my 1 minute whipped vegan feta dip, or with a drizzle of my favourite sugar-free smoky hot sauce by London Fermentary.
Vegan Cauliflower Wings
- 1 medium cauliflower (approx 420g of florets)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup flax meal
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds toasted
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Italian herbs
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1.5 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 cup white cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 small fennel, finely shredded
- 1 small courgette, thin ribbons (I used a julienne peeler)
- 1 - 2 spring onions, finely diced
- Small handful fresh corainder, finely chopped
- Optional pinch of salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 fan.
- Add the flax, sesame, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian herbs, paprika to a medium bowl adn mix to combine. Add 8 tbsp of water, mix and leave to rest for a few minutes to thicken.
- Coat each cauliflower floret in batter. Add a little more water if it starts to thicken too much.
- Place the Vegan Cauliflower Wings on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Generously coat each wing in olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden and the cauliflower is cooked through. Turn after 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the slaw. Add the mayo to a bowl and stir through the mustard. Add all the rest of the slaw ingredients and mix well to combine. Season to taste.